09 April 2010

Defending the indefensible

Is this really the new direction of neoconservatism?

In the wake of allegations of rampant corruption in the recent Afghan election -- an election he won, by the way -- Afghani president Hamid Karzai went off the deep end. Under both internal and external pressure to account for the accusations of rampant corruption underlying the most recent elections that put him back in power, Karzai went ballistic, accusing Western nations (read: the U.S. and Britain) of engineering voter fraud in last year's Afghan elections.

Karzai relies on tens of thousands of American and NATO forces to prop up his government. This charge of foreign corruption was ridiculous enough.

Last week, however, Karzai dropped his last marble, at least twice saying publicly that he might join the Taliban if foreign countries continued to pressure him.

If you care about national security, it goes without saying that this was extraordinarily alarming.

In response to Karzai's threats, the Obama administration rightfully called his comments "troubling," and publicly reprimanded him for his foolish rhetoric. There is a school of thought within the foreign policy establishment that Karzai is attempting to curry favor with some of the more pro-Taliban elements of the Afghani parliament.

The administration was exactly right to dress down Karzai, who is lucky that the United States has supported him so fiercely.

Karzai runs a laughably corrupt government in a famously corrupt nation. Last year, the nongovernmental organization Transparency International ranked Karzai's Afghanistan 176th out of 180 countries in their annual assessment of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials. Obama is exactly right to demand that Karzai keep his own house in order, so that America can generate support for the allied effort to eliminate Taliban support in the country's more remote regions.

Liz Cheney -- echoed by others on the right who hysterically, reflexively oppose everything this administration does -- accused the president of "abandoning our allies." Sarah Palin got into the act herself, accusing Obama of "coddling enemies" (whatever that means) and "alienating allies."

Really? The audacity of this line of attack against Obama is incomprehensible. I wonder if Cheney, et al. think about how ridiculous this argument sounds before they hit the airwaves or the speaking circuit to begin blasting away?

If Bush and her father were still in power, Cheney would be on Fox News calling for Karzai's head. Karzai publicly slapped Obama in the face, defying the American institution that has provided him such critical support in the face of excruciatingly slow progress not only building legitimate democratic institutions in Afghanistan, but in fighting off the Taliban.

Instead, Obama Derangement Syndrome has gripped this vile woman so severely that she is actually attacking a sitting American president for reprimanding a foreign leader who threatened to join forces with the group responsible for the greatest atrocity ever inflicted on American soil.

No comments: